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Competition Law Challenges in the Next Decade

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Sofia Oliveira Pais

In the European Union, competition law has expanded and matured, assuming a key role in the promotion of consumer welfare, economic progress and public interest in general. Nevertheless, several issues remain open. Should the European Union remain faithful to antitrust public enforcement or fully consider the complementary role of private enforcement? Are the European solutions concerning exclusionary abuses coherent and predictable? What role should National Competition Authorities play in the context of State Aid? This book attempts to analyse and discuss some open, selective questions concerning three particular topics on competition law that are becoming highly relevant in the European and national praxis: antitrust private enforcement, exclusionary abuses and state aid. To address these issues, two seminars and international conferences, supported by the European Commission, took place at Católica Porto School of Law, Catholic University of Portugal, in March 2014 and March 2015. This publication includes the papers presented in those events, which gathered well-known and respected scholars and practitioners in the field of competition law, leading to a productive debate about EU competition law challenges in the next decade.

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Part I. Antitrust Private Enforcement: National Perspectives on the Damages Directive

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Part I antItrust PrIvate enforcement: natIonal PersPectIves on the Damages DIrectIve 13 Competition law: achievements and challenges António Ferreira Gomes1 I would first like to thank Católica Porto Law School for the kind invitation to participate in the opening session of this Conference and to congratulate its organizers for the excellent program. This Conference is a testament to the growing awareness regarding the importance of competition among the legal community. Competition generates benefits for everyone – consumers, businesses, government and the overall economy – and should be seen as an engine of economic growth. Competition is vital to ensure a dynamic, competitive and robust economy by promoting and rewarding merit. When competition is eliminated or restricted, companies lose incen- tives to innovate and to reduce costs, becoming less efficient. This is harmful to consumers, but also to the companies themselves, as they be- come less prepared to face new challenges. In a context of crisis, when citizens and taxpayers are already in a vulnerable situation, a prohibited practice, such as a cartel, is particu- larly detrimental to consumers, as it forces them to pay higher prices for products or services. The same applies to companies which need inputs from other companies themselves, and to the State as a buyer of goods and services. It is therefore important to be aware of the benefits of competition, but also of the detrimental effects of violations to competition law. The Portuguese Competition Authority is committed to combine both dimen- sions, acting as a...

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